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Can someone tell me the most efficient way to heat my fish tank water?  Thanks  Doc

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Hey Jim,


Here is a shot of the front of the stove. It has the new door they are selling now. I left the Bung in at the top with nothing behind it. It has the new ash door below with 2 air vents that might be able to be used.  I have firebrick flat on the bottom 6" wide and then firebrick going up each side 6" to almost the middle of the 55 gallon stove.

The next photo is from the back were I put in my heat exchanger. It is to the side and up close to the top of the stove top metal. I used a pressure relief valve  at the hot side so if it ever gets to hot that will pop. I also have a battery backup on the power for the pump so if the power goes out the pump keeps pumping so hopefully that pressure relief valve never pops. I have 2 other places with pressure relief valves and one other safety valve on the very top of that run going back into my storage tank. Never can have enough safety. So I would have the bung hole available to the back. The stove pipe comes out in the back on top in the center.

Yeah, I kinda figured that working the electric in there would be sort of a stretch, the whole process of drying, pyrolysis, combustion and reduction seem best left to a separate dedicated unit...figured it couldn't hurt to ask though...

I looked at some of the Tarm units briefly the HS Tarm Solo Innova caught my eye...but I hardly even know what exactly to look for...They seem like they'd be pricey... 

I have no experience building wood gasifiers of any sort, but I have access to  what passes for (around here) a decent machine shop...lathe, milling machine, mig welder, kiln, nothin' pretty (it's all basically barely post WWII stuff), but it all works...And since I've chosen to exile myself from the realm of...how did you put it "those with the $$"...though I hardly think I was ever even in that category...I'm looking to get by as cheap as possible and don't mind putting in some work to do so. But I may follow your advice and look a bit more into a Tarm unit or something similar...Do you have any recommendations as to a particular unit of theirs for my application?

Most everything I know about "Rocket Mass" heaters comes from the book that Ianto Evens and Leslie Jackson wrote...proportions relative to one another seem real important...

Del and Everyone

I've been thinking about the same issue cause winter is coming.  I've made a heater (1700w out of a stainless steel heater element)...BUT I don't want to only rely on the heater cause of the operating cost.

I'm going to wrap my IBC fish tank with foam but it probably won't do any good if the grow beds are kept in operation because they'll cool the water back down everytime it pumps out of the fish tank and back to the sump tank.

But I am attaching a sketch, with the question...has anyone tried anything like this "solar" heater setup or something similar...and will it even remotely help keep the water warm during the day do you think ??

 

Attachments:
Sorry I'm late to the party, fellas.

To address the OP, the most efficient way to heat FT water is with waste heat from some other function, IMO.

Vlahd (the added H is payback), I don't think adding the electrical component of gasification is over-reaching at all. In fact, it simplifies controlling, metering, and automating gasification heat. I built a wood gasifier last winter out of a beer keg, steel barrels, some big RV exhaust, and a colander. All stuff gathered locally for the purpose, free. No machining, just a welder, zip grinder, and screws. I tied that to a used $100 generator, and bingo, free power and heat. I'll have to dig it out of the weeds and snap some pics, which is fine because autumn is definately emerged here in Cali, and time to think about this again. The gasifier burns wood chips supplied by a local tree service, delivered and dumped for free, as much as I could ever think to use. The hot syngas is plumbed into 3" aluminum coiled vent hose (dryer vent from HD) which is inside an insulated concrete slab under my fish tanks. This cools the syngas and condenses water vapor, while heating the FT, on it's way to the genset. The genset (4KW Kohler) will power 8) 400W CMH growlights as soon as the sun weakens in another couple of weeks. From the genset, the exhaust gas is piped through a second 3" vent hose in the slab, again cooling the gas while heating the FT, and again condensing the moisture so I can dump the resulting CO2 in the growroom. Yes, it's very very clean CO2 (careful you don't enter a GH with high CO2, or it's the last thing you'll ever do). The beauty of this combo is that I need neither extra light or heat in the summer, so it simply stays off. In the winter, I need both. Perfect marriage.

The generator itself regulates the whole process. At an idle (or low power draw like pumps only), very little vacuum is drawn, keeping the gasifier lit and not much more. When the timer kicks on the lights, the engine draw increases flow through the gasifier. I have already built the gasifier, gas filter (barrel of wood chips), and tested it on the generator, but have not hooked it up to the GH yet. I figure I'll run the lights at night, and wire up flow diverters to a thermostat to bypass syngas and/or exhaust to external coolers to regulate FT temp. Also will need to divert cooled exhaust to outside air according to a CO2 meter. Fun fun

I also built a rocket mass water heater last year, and it works awesome, though not so easy to automate. I built the rocket inside of a steel barrel, and placed a second barrel on top as the water heater. I planned to circulate hot water through PEX lines under the FTs, but ran out of time before summer came. I'm still going to finish that project, and the upper barrel will dub as hot water storage for a solar collector. So solar will heat the FTs for that group of tank, and if the temp drops below my tilapia threshold (mid 80's for breeding, mid 60's otherwise) I'll start a fire in the rocket, which will be most every evening in the winter. All is fairly easy to regulate by way of solar hot-water hardware, but haven't figured a way to automate the loading, firing, and squelching of the rocket itself.

That will work but needs more than the hose. It needs a insulated back and a plastic front so you can get some heat out of it. I made one with a coil but only good for summer because it will not drain back when it gets cold. I made a 4x8 solar panel with CPVC and it is working great. If you want to make one just google CPVC solar panel and you will see the one I built. I made it so it drains back.

Bradly said:

Del and Everyone

I've been thinking about the same issue cause winter is coming.  I've made a heater (1700w out of a stainless steel heater element)...BUT I don't want to only rely on the heater cause of the operating cost.

I'm going to wrap my IBC fish tank with foam but it probably won't do any good if the grow beds are kept in operation because they'll cool the water back down everytime it pumps out of the fish tank and back to the sump tank.

But I am attaching a sketch, with the question...has anyone tried anything like this "solar" heater setup or something similar...and will it even remotely help keep the water warm during the day do you think ??

 

Use a PC battery backup on the pump so it does not pop the pressure relief valve.

Bob Campbell said:

I use the same setup.  I'll warn you though.  If the pump stops circulating the water, you have about 5 seconds to shut the heating element off.  I finally put them on the same circuit. 

Bradly said:

Del and Everyone

I've been thinking about the same issue cause winter is coming.  I've made a heater (1700w out of a stainless steel heater element)...BUT I don't want to only rely on the heater cause of the operating cost.

I'm going to wrap my IBC fish tank with foam but it probably won't do any good if the grow beds are kept in operation because they'll cool the water back down everytime it pumps out of the fish tank and back to the sump tank.

But I am attaching a sketch, with the question...has anyone tried anything like this "solar" heater setup or something similar...and will it even remotely help keep the water warm during the day do you think ??

 

Hey Jon sounds like a heck of a system. I love it and want to know more. As to Vlad are you saying that he SHOULD use his barrel stove for a wood gas generator? Because that was his question to me and I repeat heck no. Build a gas gen if you need wood gas. And I agree with you otherwise. Good stuff. I love this forum. Best conversations around.

And Vlad the more I look at your barrel stove I think you should leave that one as it is and if you want to make a gasifier woodstove like mine start with a fresh barrel. Too many steps backwards to convert yours. The door doesn't really lend itself as you want one centered air pipe running to the rear. Also that drawing I posted is a little dated. You want to do a 180 at the back end of the pipe so the air aims back at the coals. Mig and a cut off saw make quick work of that.

Good stuff guys. I love it!

Jon Parr said:

Sorry I'm late to the party, fellas.

To address the OP, the most efficient way to heat FT water is with waste heat from some other function, IMO.

Vlahd (the added H is payback), I don't think adding the electrical component of gasification is over-reaching at all. In fact, it simplifies controlling, metering, and automating gasification heat. I built a wood gasifier last winter out of a beer keg, steel barrels, some big RV exhaust, and a colander. All stuff gathered locally for the purpose, free. No machining, just a welder, zip grinder, and screws. I tied that to a used $100 generator, and bingo, free power and heat. I'll have to dig it out of the weeds and snap some pics, which is fine because autumn is definately emerged here in Cali, and time to think about this again. The gasifier burns wood chips supplied by a local tree service, delivered and dumped for free, as much as I could ever think to use. The hot syngas is plumbed into 3" aluminum coiled vent hose (dryer vent from HD) which is inside an insulated concrete slab under my fish tanks. This cools the syngas and condenses water vapor, while heating the FT, on it's way to the genset. The genset (4KW Kohler) will power 8) 400W CMH growlights as soon as the sun weakens in another couple of weeks. From the genset, the exhaust gas is piped through a second 3" vent hose in the slab, again cooling the gas while heating the FT, and again condensing the moisture so I can dump the resulting CO2 in the growroom. Yes, it's very very clean CO2 (careful you don't enter a GH with high CO2, or it's the last thing you'll ever do). The beauty of this combo is that I need neither extra light or heat in the summer, so it simply stays off. In the winter, I need both. Perfect marriage.

The generator itself regulates the whole process. At an idle (or low power draw like pumps only), very little vacuum is drawn, keeping the gasifier lit and not much more. When the timer kicks on the lights, the engine draw increases flow through the gasifier. I have already built the gasifier, gas filter (barrel of wood chips), and tested it on the generator, but have not hooked it up to the GH yet. I figure I'll run the lights at night, and wire up flow diverters to a thermostat to bypass syngas and/or exhaust to external coolers to regulate FT temp. Also will need to divert cooled exhaust to outside air according to a CO2 meter. Fun fun

I also built a rocket mass water heater last year, and it works awesome, though not so easy to automate. I built the rocket inside of a steel barrel, and placed a second barrel on top as the water heater. I planned to circulate hot water through PEX lines under the FTs, but ran out of time before summer came. I'm still going to finish that project, and the upper barrel will dub as hot water storage for a solar collector. So solar will heat the FTs for that group of tank, and if the temp drops below my tilapia threshold (mid 80's for breeding, mid 60's otherwise) I'll start a fire in the rocket, which will be most every evening in the winter. All is fairly easy to regulate by way of solar hot-water hardware, but haven't figured a way to automate the loading, firing, and squelching of the rocket itself.

Jim Did you mean Joe on the below section about my barrel stove?

Jim Fisk said:

And Vlad the more I look at your barrel stove I think you should leave that one as it is and if you want to make a gasifier woodstove like mine start with a fresh barrel. Too many steps backwards to convert yours. The door doesn't really lend itself as you want one centered air pipe running to the rear. Also that drawing I posted is a little dated. You want to do a 180 at the back end of the pipe so the air aims back at the coals. Mig and a cut off saw make quick work of that.

Good stuff guys. I love it!

Yes Joe, glad you caught that. Easy to get distracted on this thread. Good stuff.

Joe Bifano said:

Jim Did you mean Joe on the below section about my barrel stove?

Jim Fisk said:

And Vlad the more I look at your barrel stove I think you should leave that one as it is and if you want to make a gasifier woodstove like mine start with a fresh barrel. Too many steps backwards to convert yours. The door doesn't really lend itself as you want one centered air pipe running to the rear. Also that drawing I posted is a little dated. You want to do a 180 at the back end of the pipe so the air aims back at the coals. Mig and a cut off saw make quick work of that.

Good stuff guys. I love it!

Hey Jim, I should probably go back and read the entries more thoroughly (as opposed to scanning thru while driving back from a camping trip). Anyway, yes you are right. Leave the gasifying stove to simply burning wood (love the design BTW), and build a wood gasifier to generate syngas for other purposes. My point here, is that it isn't any more difficult to build a gasifier than a stove, and the result is more functional, more valuable (electricity AND heat), and more controllable (generator throttle position dictates burn rate).

Typical wood stoves burn very dirty. In order to slow the burn rate (and give time to capture the heat), they choke the air inlet, resulting in gasification without subsequent re-burn, spewing H2, CO, and volatile tars into the air, and wasting potential energy. Rapid, hot, oxygenated burns like rocket mass heaters burn very clean, and capture the heat by high retention time and large thermal mass to gain efficiency. And yes, this is good stuff!

Hey Jon,

Do you have any plans or ideas for a simple Rocket mass heater. I'm looking to build one now. I have cnc plasma work available for this project if need be.

I live in the south of Brazil and it gets cold here. We are entering our Summer now.

Regards,

Fred

Jon Parr said:

Hey Jim, I should probably go back and read the entries more thoroughly (as opposed to scanning thru while driving back from a camping trip). Anyway, yes you are right. Leave the gasifying stove to simply burning wood (love the design BTW), and build a wood gasifier to generate syngas for other purposes. My point here, is that it isn't any more difficult to build a gasifier than a stove, and the result is more functional, more valuable (electricity AND heat), and more controllable (generator throttle position dictates burn rate).

Typical wood stoves burn very dirty. In order to slow the burn rate (and give time to capture the heat), they choke the air inlet, resulting in gasification without subsequent re-burn, spewing H2, CO, and volatile tars into the air, and wasting potential energy. Rapid, hot, oxygenated burns like rocket mass heaters burn very clean, and capture the heat by high retention time and large thermal mass to gain efficiency. And yes, this is good stuff!

Hey Jon, nice to correspond with a fellow wood gas geek. I knew we were on the same page but I had to call you on that:-)

Jon Parr said:

Hey Jim, I should probably go back and read the entries more thoroughly (as opposed to scanning thru while driving back from a camping trip). Anyway, yes you are right. Leave the gasifying stove to simply burning wood (love the design BTW), and build a wood gasifier to generate syngas for other purposes. My point here, is that it isn't any more difficult to build a gasifier than a stove, and the result is more functional, more valuable (electricity AND heat), and more controllable (generator throttle position dictates burn rate).

Typical wood stoves burn very dirty. In order to slow the burn rate (and give time to capture the heat), they choke the air inlet, resulting in gasification without subsequent re-burn, spewing H2, CO, and volatile tars into the air, and wasting potential energy. Rapid, hot, oxygenated burns like rocket mass heaters burn very clean, and capture the heat by high retention time and large thermal mass to gain efficiency. And yes, this is good stuff!

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